What is the best way to teach my dog how to shake hands?

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Getting your dog to shake your hand is a great trick. Not only does it display your dog’s obedience, but it also keeps your dog challenged.’ The more tricks a dog knows, the more alert and active he may be. Before teaching your dog to shake hands, it is best to teach your dog how to sit. Once your dog is seated, you’ll be able to work on teaching your dog to shake.

When your dog is sitting, say the word “shake” and lift your dog’s paw off the ground. While holding the paw, repeat the word “shake” and offer your dog a small food reward. Initially, your dog may be hesitant to let you hold his paw and try to yank his paw away or stand. Be patient and continue to have your dog sit and participate in the learning exercise.

Eventually, your dog will become more and more comfortable with you saying the word “shake,” lifting his paw and getting a food reward. Once your dog shows no discomfort with performing this activity, say the word “shake” and do not help your dog lift his paw. Instead, present your hand so that your dog may place his paw on your hand. Once he does so, repeat the word “shake,” give verbal praise and a small food reward.

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